May 24, 1995 in Nation/World

Suit: Teacher Made Boy Wear Wig, Skirt

Compiled From Wire Services
 

A schoolboy was forced to wear a woman’s wig, bra and skirt as punishment for talking in class while his teacher looked on and laughed, according to a $22.5 million lawsuit.

Teacher Pauline Williamson’s punishment left seventh-grader Caleb Guerrier with psychological damage and other personal injuries, the lawsuit charged.

“They were laughing at me, the whole class,” the 13-year-old boy said in a telephone interview. Williamson “was making jokes and teaching the class. … When I was crying, she said, ‘What’s that dog sound?”’

The cross-dressing punishment was known among students as “the box,” because that’s where the women’s clothing, high-heeled shoes and wig were kept in Williamson’s classroom at the Excelsior Seventh Day Adventist School, said the boy’s attorney, Sanford Rubenstein.

While students actually forced Guerrier into the clothing, Williamson directed the April 24 assault, according to the suit filed Friday.

Clement Murray, a spokesman for the Northeast Conference of Seventh Day Adventists, said the veteran teacher had been suspended from classroom duties, with pay, while the school conducts an investigation.

The Seventh Day Adventists run about 1,300 schools in the country, including about 20 in New York City.


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